Ah. Centre Place. Who doesn’t love it? A tiny and cramp laneway full of graffiti art and sandwich shops. LOTS of sandwich shops. In fact, this is this place should probably be named Sandwich Place. Either that or Copper Lane due to heavy lunching police presence from the cop shop up the street.
Centre Place has to be one of my favourite Melbourne sights. It often gets overlooked by weekend tourists and suburbanite Victorians because this laneway is only hip and happening, or rather, full of sandwiches, on weekdays in the morning into early afternoon with most shops starting to wind down at around 3pm.
(Tandoori chicken focaccia – $7-$8?)
Centro Espresso Caffe is situated in an ideal position of the corner of Centre Place and Flinders Lane. A perfect spot for people watching. That is, if you actually get a spot. The space here (and any other shops on Centre Place) is absolute premium and many people buy their toasted sandwiches to takeaway.
I have had a few sandwiches from Centro Espresso Caffe and found them to be a decent balance between taste, portion, price and choices. Centro usually has 3-4 different types of sandwiches in wraps or focaccia plus a few choices of salads. They also have the ‘home-style’ simpler sandwiches like curried egg and salad sandwiches with square breads.
(left – chicken and pasta salad, right – garden salad)
On the day these photos were taken, I ordered salami focaccia which was filled with a few slices of grilled eggplant, olives capsicum, semi-dried tomato, cheese and salad leaves. I had it toasted. It was decent and filling. In fact, I normally struggle to finish a sandwich from here which meant I had the leftovers to nibble on later in the afternoon when three thirty-itis hit.
Josh ordered the tandoori chicken sandwich which had a few slices of bland tandoori chicken typical of the tandoori chicken that is the sandwich filling variety rather than actual smokey, spicy tandoori chicken you get at your local Indian. It was covered in yoghurt sauce, cheese and had a few slices of tomato and salad leaves. It was also toasted. Surprisingly, it was quite all right. This would be the one sandwich I personally wouldn’t order myself but it was fine.
(Salami and roasted vegetable foccacia)
Because we were both hungry, we ordered a mix of two available salads to share. It turned out to be a bad idea because I kept forgetting how big the sandwiches were. Eyes bigger than stomach and all that. The salads themselves were nothing to write home about. Nor were they bad.
Centro Espresso Caffe, with its best asset being a perfect location to watch the hub bub of Centre Place, does serve decent sandwiches to hungry city workers and tourists but it is in no way outstanding with a pletora of sandwich outlets in the area.
If you have tried their coffee, please let me know what you think.
Centro Espresso Caffe
Address: 252 Flinders La, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9654 7070